Inspired by Baba Amte's ideals, a family in Manipal is creating handmade products at home and sending funds from its sales to Anand Wan in Maharashtra. Savita Shastri and her mother (who did not wish her name to be known), supported by Ms. Shastri’s husband Prabhakar and their son Aditya, create a range of handmade products. The proceeds from the sales go to Anand Wan, Ms. Shastri told The Hindu .
She and her mother make greeting cards, bookmarks, key-rings and mobile phone covers.
A team work
The cards and bookmarks are made from waste handmade paper. While her mother paints them in watercolours, Ms. Shastri adds flowers made from tatting (a craft in which one uses a shuttle to create lace from thread; it is entirely handmade).
Although she has stopped working at her erstwhile 9-to-5 job, she is equally busy as she spends all her spare time tatting.
It was the belief in dignity of work that started them. Their involvement began with a visit to Anand Wan almost a decade ago.
Impressed with the community living and working there despite challenges, they asked Baba Amte how they could help. Baba Amte told them they could create something with their hands and the proceeds from that could be used for the less privileged at Anand Wan.
Earning every rupee
(According to the website of the organisation, Anandwan ('Forest of joy'), in Maharashtra, is a rehabilitation centre where people with leprosy and other challenges find food and shelter through self-help, self-respect and service. His approach was that people must work and not accept charity.
A person can live without fingers but not without self-respect, was his approach.)
Ms. Shastri said that the work was possible because of the support she gets from her family. Her husband supports her in the work and Mr. Aditya tells her which new product will sell and how to create products that will click with the crowds.
Ms. Savita Shastri can be contacted on ph: 9886354048.
RENUKA PHADNIS meets a family in Manipal that is doing its bit to Baba Amte’s Anand Wan